I've read and enjoyed a couple of Tracy Chevalier novels, Falling Angels was published in 2002 and it is another great historical read - quirky, informative, at times very funny and some great characters.
It starts at the beginning of the twentieth century and is set in London, narrated by different characters including members of two families and a grave digger's son who lives and works in the neighbouring cemetery.
The two main characters are the two females of the families - Kitty and Gertrude. Kitty is beautiful, intelligent and smart, but resents the restrictions put upon Victorian women and is bored with her safe and quite boring husband, she dreams of excitement and longs for her family at home in Lincolnshire. Gertrude, on the other hand, would love to be like Kitty. She longs to be seen as an upstanding member of the community and is very concerned that everything she and her two daughters is right and proper.
The two families are brought together when they meet in the cemetery, their family graves are ajoining. The two daughters of the households soon become firm friends, spending time in the cemetery and befriending Simon, the grave-digger's son - a totally unsuitable friend for any well brought up Victorian young lady.
The story then follows the girls as they grow up - their blossoming friendships, the ups and downs of family life. There is some really interesting facts about Victorian mourning fashions and funerals and Chevalier is a real expert at historical facts and scene setting.
Although not as engaging as Girl With A Pearl Earring, I did enjoy this novel.